Last week, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced that it would invest Ksh21.8 billion (USD 156.9 M) in Safaricom, in exchange for 7.25% of the company’s equity. IFC will also loan Safaricom a further Ksh13.9 billion (USD 100 M).
In May 2021, Safaricom secured a successful bid to become the inaugural external telecommunications company in Ethiopia, marking the second overall telecoms company in the country. Up until Safaricom’s entry, the telecommunications market in Ethiopia was monopolized by the state-owned Ethio Telecom, which boasted a subscriber base of 54 million users. In 2021, Ethio Telecom entered into an agreement to sell a portion of its 40% stake to Safaricom for a significant amount of USD 850 M.
By October 2022, Safaricom successfully launched its operations in Ethiopia and managed to attract a substantial user base, with approximately 2.8 million subscribers joining by March 2023. Safaricom’s introduction of M-Pesa plays a role in the investment made by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). According to a report from Kenyan publication The Standard, Safaricom intends to utilize the investment to expand the availability of 4G and 5G services in both rural and urban regions of Ethiopia.